on Live Embers
DYNAMIC, Dancing on Live Embers investigates
how racism, White power, and privilege operate in the ordinary
moments of organizational life. It holds up familiar workplace
interactions for scrutiny, and looks for openings to advance
racial equity and justice. Through stories, it offers concrete
examples of racial justice work by a range of experienced
is a hands-on book for people who are trying to create more
equitable organizations-front-line staff, managers, administrators,
political leaders, union and community educators and activists,
boards of directors, teachers, human resource staff, equity
officers, and university and college faculty. This book is
one of ten selected for a 2007 Myers Outstanding Book Award
presented by the Gustavus Myers Centre for the Study of Bigotry
and Human Rights in North America. (www.myerscenter.org).
theory, personal critical reflection and hands-on tools, this
book is a powerful resource both for understanding how racism
pervades and how to act against racism (and for equity) in
The core of Dancing on Live Embers is divided into three key
“phases” of anti-racism work in organizations:
the phase Getting Beyond Training is about moving effectively
past the characteristic crisis response to creating an anti-racist
process; the next phase is about applying anti-racist practices
to organizational behaviours, structures and processes which
leads to the third phase of staying committed to the goal
of racial equity in the face of contradictions, set-backs
and other hurdles.
centres around a few brief scenarios and one substantive case
study from which theory and practice are articulated. The
next section takes things up a level from the context of single
organizations to that of national organizations and coalitions.
And, to round things off, the authors courageously document
their own dialogue as a racialized woman and a white woman
working together both in the various experiences recounted
in this book and in the writing of the book itself. It is
this dialogue that makes the book exceptional in the field.
chris cavanagh is an educator, storyteller, writer, artist,
co-founder of the Catalyst Centre popular education worker
co-op and , frequent rabble reviewer
book is available for purchase
at the following retailers:
Between the Lines (www.btlbooks.com)
A Different Booklist (www.adifferentbooklist.com)
Another Story (www.anotherstory.ca)
ISBN # - 1-897071-04-3
"The case studies
are excellent, as is the analysis which is ¬subtle and
complex. I recognized many situations and dilemmas, and found
myself revisiting lots of experiences of my own."
Nora Allingham, educator and equity worker,
former Access Initiatives Co-ordinator at York University
" This book is grounded in a wide
variety of experience, and encourages readers to adapt it
to their own particular conditions."
Don McKay, Staff Rep, Communication,
Energy, and Paperworkers Union
Lopes' book, Dancing On Live Embers, has completely changed
my approach to community development. Like putting on night
lenses, I can now see patterns, behaviours, systems, and structures
that were much less visible to me before. Moreso, I can respond
to these patterns in clever ways that seek to diminish their
Avi Zer-Aviv, Community Worker
brave book. I can't wait to refer it to others and use it
in my own work. Just as you shift the paradigm from people
of colour as the problem, to 'racism and white privelage'
as the problem, so this book should be directed to those it
seeks to empower."
Charles C. Smith, anti-racism activist,
educator, writer, and organizational change consultant
the perspective of white labour educator I found this book
full of moments of revelation. It made me feel like an awkward
teenager again, as though I'd learned to navigate using a
bad map and nw it's time to learn again."
Adriane Paavo, Education Officer, Saskatchewan
Government and General Employees Union
excellent, really excellent. The case scenarios are so helpful
because they give you that experiential sense. And there are
so many different ways of looking at the issues-through charts,
diagrams, points, cases."
Janet Wilson, Executive Director, Bereaved
Families of Ontario, Toronto Chapter